Clutter fulfills particular functions in our lives. It helps us cope with issues we are not ready to face.
When I first started practicing Feng Shui as a profession, I believed, like many other consultants, that declutttering was a good thing to do as soon as a person had determined that he or she wanted to improve the chi in a place. As the years went by, however, I noticed that some clients had very strong emotional reactions to decluttering, and that decluttering too soon could trigger healing crises.
I realized that before embarking on big decluttering projects, a foundation should be established, so the that client would feel more comfortable with the tasks. This foundation consisted of stabilizing the chi (life force) in a space by dealing with the greatest chi disruptors first. For this reason, when I put together the Nine Steps to Feng Shui® System I made Dealing with Clutter step number 7, to be begun during the third client visit, never during the first consultation, and rarely during the second one. (Our system recommends three sessions.)
You see, decluttering is always a trip down memory lane, and it is bound to trigger strong emotions. Additionally, clutter is always a compensation for something else. Sometimes it hides an extreme difficulty in making decisions, other times it shelters the person from really evaluating a failed relationship. I have seen clients use clutter to avoid confronting loneliness, or to express feelings of rebelliousness towards a parent or a spouse. At times, these strong emotions that come to the surface through early decluttering, probably combined with dust mites released from moving items that had not been moved in a long time, results in physical discomfort. It is not uncommon to get nauseous, dizzy, or to catch a cold during a large decluttering project.
For all these reasons, avoid starting a large decluttering project in these circumstances:
- Right before going on a vacation.
- Right after a separation.
- When working on a separate project with a strict deadline.
- Right before a big, landmark life event (like a wedding).
- When the immune system is compromised.
- Before you have resolved the major issues in the Feng Shui of your home or office. (steps 1, 2, and 3)
- During times of extreme emotional turmoil.
Instead, choose to deal with your clutter by taking baby steps. One of the areas of my website that gets the most positive feedback is the Decluttering Prescriptions page. Do not be fooled my the smallness of the tasks, however insignificant they might seem to you. These tasks were designed with a very profound Feng Shui principle in mind: the principle of “very little.” Small changes can produce deep internal spiritual transformations, without triggering healing crises. Check them out here.
I have seen my clients remove huge energetic blocks by simply decluttering and organizing one drawer. Interestingly enough, once that small project was done, they became able to address larger decluttering projects.
Getting tips on decluttering is great! Imagine how much better it would be to take a class!
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